The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) continues to place an emphasis on the value of its aviation and weather travel portal for pilots, first responders and others who need real-time weather conditions throughout California. The portal, which was launched last year, was put on display earlier this month at California Aerospace & Aviation Days at the Capitol.
The Aviation Weather Information (AWI: http://awi.dot.ca.gov/) portal links dozens of commonly used (official) aviation weather websites into one easy location. Current wind speed, temperature, visibility, air pressure and weather conditions are available with SIGMETs and AIRMETs, pilot reports and airport data. This is the most recent traveler advisory service offered by Caltrans.
The importance of the site became evident during beta testing when the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services used the prototype site to gather weather data amid earthquake and mudslide events for situation status reports.
Caltrans developed the portal with the help of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University. The website is easy to navigate using drop drown menus, and includes a tutorial on how to use the site and a “feedback” button to send comments to Caltrans’ Division of Aeronautics. There are links to Caltrans’ network of traffic cameras and to alerts from the National Weather Service.
Dennis O’Connor, Associate Aviation Planner for the Caltrans Aeronautics Division, oversees the portal for the agency that fosters and promotes the development of a safe, efficient, dependable, and environmentally compatible air transportation system. The Division issues permits for, and annually inspects, hospital heliports and public-use airports, and provides grants and loans at airports for safety, maintenance and capital improvement projects.